Nothing too exciting has happened since i last wrote. School is coming to an end in less than a month but since each grade takes end of term exams for the last two weeks of the term and preparing for the taking of end of term exams takes up the two weeks before that, teaching for the term unofficially ended last week. Theres nothing new taught from here, they just review the previous term's exam. So i had my last lesson for the term on friday. For the past few weeks, I've been teaching english to 8th graders with the deputy head (similar to a vice-principal) of my school, Mrs. Tembo. Its been great but i have to speak reallllllly slow and even then half the class doesnt understand my accent. I've taken to speaking "zamlish" where i unintentionally adopt a zambian accent and clap my hands together for emphasis in the zambian way which just makes me look silly and leads me to believe that most of my students think i'm a freak.
Other than that i've been starting to work with the hiv/aids support groups in my area (theres 22, the reality of aids in africa) figuring out how to register the groups so they can be recognized by the government and receive funding and also coming up with income generating activities based on the interests and talents of the people in the group. Most of the groups farm and use the food communally or sell it and use the profits to take care of the members of the group if they get sick or need money but they all want to expand into doing other things too. & i think theres also a real interest in learning to read and write in english since thats something that can help them get ahead so i'm hoping to start an adult literacy group with them.
Once the term officially ends though, i get to do some traveling. I'm planning to head to victoria falls and malawi! Its been great here but after being in a dry, dry village for 6 months, all i want is to be surrounded by beaches and water. And hopefully some lions and elephants. Plus tierney is coming to visit so i've got to show her the sites!
In other news, i seem to have involved my village in what feels like a murder mystery. Or a pants mystery. It all began with a little boy from the neighboring village stealing my solar charger. His parents, upon seeing this odd contraption that they certainly had not given their son, rightly assumed that it must belong to the crazy muzungu and it was therefore recovered before i'd even realized it was lost.
Then strikes the bafa thief. Some enterprising villager, who obviously did not stop to think of the impact their actions would have on our inevitable & soon to be increasingly unfortunate daily encounters, stole everything i use to bathe out of my bafa bathing shelter. Seeing as i'm 50km from town & cant easily remedy this situation, i will soon smell worse than the goats &i hope the thief will be seriously regretting his decision.
Then theres my pants. I did a small load of laundry this morning and left it hanging on my clothesline while i went to school (obviously not the brightest idea i realize in light of recent events). Surprisingly everything was still there when i came home. I know this because i only washed 5 things and i moved them all along the line to be in the sun. I went inside to make lunch and an hour later i look out to find there are now only four items on the line. My pants have gone missing. Its been windy here so thinking its the wind i search my compound. No pants. I then go tell my amai because after the bafa incident and my solar charger, i'm starting to realize someone is intentionally stealing my crap knowing i wont do anything about it. So my amai and my neighbor john come over to assess the situation. After looking around for a few minutes hoping the pants will turn up, john, who has suddenly turned into one of the hardy boys, calls us over to show us a trail of little shoe prints leading up to the place where my pants had been, then away from it & out the entrance of my fence. They conclude these footprints are too small to be mine or my amai's and most likely that of a girl since the boys around here never wear shoes. Luckily, my village as a whole is really great and has happily taken on the role of prince charming, hunting down a pants-stealing little-footed cinderella. Hey, if the shoe fits...